Seeds for Thought
There is so much that we take for granted about rice. Most of us assume that it requires a lot of water to grow rice. Of course like any crop it needs water to grow, but it does not need to be constantly flooded. That’s an inefficient and wasteful use of water, and diminishes soil health. We know rice is an important food staple but most of us don’t even give a thought to who is growing rice and under what conditions. In the US seeds are sown from the sky raining down from airplanes. Throughout most of the world, however, where rice is consumed sometime three times a day, seedlings are mostly planted by hand by women. They spend hours every day in backbreaking repetitive work to grow the rice on which over half the planet’s women, children and men depend for food. It doesn’t have to be this way. We think it’s time to think about these issues and work towards reducing the negative impact of rice production on water and women’s bodies.